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On February 7, 2013, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation referred their 
investigative file to this office requesting a legal review concerning the circumstances of 
the December 4, 2012, shooting death of Desirae Ann Daniel (DOB 7/28/1985). The 
investigative report details the facts and circumstances involving the use of deadly force 
by Cedar Rapids Police Officers Mitchell Magill and Adrienne Phelps that resulted in the 
death of Desirae Ann Daniel in the 200 block of 27 th Street NW in Cedar Rapids, Linn 
County, Iowa. 

The Iowa DCI conducted a broad and detailed investigation into the incident and 
their investigative file was extensive, compiling approximately sixty (60) different 
reports, statements and summaries from several law enforcement agencies, including 
the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the 
Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office and the DCI Criminalistics Laboratory. The 
investigative file also includes reports, written summations and video-taped statements 
of law enforcement officers, civilians and family members with information or knowledge 
concerning the police encounter with Desirae Ann Daniel during the early morning hours 
of December 4, 2012. The case file also includes photographs, medical records from 
St. Luke's Hospital, an autopsy report from the State Medical Examiner's Office and 
several reports from the DCI Criminalistics Laboratory. 

Desirae Ann Daniel first came to the attention of Cedar Rapids Police Officers 
Mitchell Magill and Adrienne Phelps at approximately 2:29 a.m. on December 4, 2012, 
near the intersection of 13 th Street and F Avenue NW in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Officers 
Magill and Phelps were on routine patrol when they observed a white 1999 Oldsmobile 
88 sedan, bearing Iowa license plate number 198ZFZ, traveling south bound on 13 th 
Street NW. Officers recognized the vehicle from a recent incident in which they found 
the registered owner of the vehicle, Michelle Kuba, inside the vehicle in a state of 

In addition to the above-described incident, officers' attention was drawn to the 
vehicle when the driver, later determined to be Desirae Ann Daniel, failed to properly 
signal for a west bound turn onto F Avenue NW. Officer Magill also noted that the 
license plate light was hanging loose from its normal fixed position on the back of the 

Officers were patrolling in a fully marked official police patrol car equipped with 
emergency lights and siren and both officers were in their official uniforms. This 
particular squad car was not equipped with video-recording equipment. 

Officers began to follow the white Oldsmobile sedan west bound on F Avenue 
NW and Officer Magill, the driver of the squad car, activated his overhead emergency 
lights to initiate a traffic stop. The driver of the suspect vehicle failed to respond to the 
officers' emergency lights and continued to travel west bound on F Avenue NW even 
after Officer Phelps activated their emergency siren. The pursuit continued as the 
suspect vehicle turned south bound towards Johnson Avenue NW and traveled through 
two different stop signs without stopping. 

The white Oldsmobile sedan then turned west bound on Johnson Avenue NW 
and reached speeds between 50 to 60 miles per hour while officers continued pursuing 
with lights and siren activated. The suspect vehicle nearly came to a stop in the parking 
lot of an apartment building near 32 nd Street NW but, after a brief hesitation, turned east 
bound on Johnson Avenue NW until turning south on 27 th Street NW. The vehicle 
finally came to a complete stop in the 200 block of 27 th Street NW. 

The approximate distance between the location where officers first encountered 
Ms. Daniel and the location of the eventual stop was approximately two miles. Officers 
stopped their patrol car about two car lengths behind the vehicle driven by Desirae 
Daniel and illuminated the vehicle with their spot light. Officers could see the driver 
appeared to be the lone occupant of the vehicle and was making "furtive movements" in 
the front seat. According to officers, she appeared to be reaching or grabbing for 
something in her immediate area. 

Based upon their education, training and experience, both officers drew their 
service revolvers before approaching the suspect vehicle out of concern for their own 
safety because of the driver's earlier efforts to elude and the suspicious furtive 
movements made by the driver after being stopped. Although officers were not aware 
at the time of the vehicle stop, there were active warrants of arrest for Desirae Ann 
Daniel for alleged probation violations in two felony cases. The arrest warrants were 
issued because Ms. Daniel had failed to maintain contact with her probation officer and 
her whereabouts were unknown. 

The area in the vicinity of the vehicle stop was well lit and officers had illuminated 
the suspect vehicle with their spotlight. Officers Magill and Phelps advanced on the 
suspect vehicle in a deliberate and methodical manner shouting repeated commands to 
the driver to "show us your hands." Officers continued to shout this command as they 
advanced upon the vehicle from both sides but the driver ignored their directives and 
continued to make furtive movements in the front seat of the vehicle. 

DCI agents interviewed several civilians who lived in the immediate vicinity of the 
vehicle stop and they reported hearing officers shout repeated commands to the driver. 
One witness reported he heard officers shout several times, "You need to comply" and 
another thought he heard officers yelling at the driver to "Get out of the car" and "Drop 

the gun." 

When officers had advanced far enough to obtain a clear view of the driver, they 
noted that Ms. Daniel was leaning back in the driver's seat but was turned to her left in 

the direction of Officer Magill, who was approaching on the driver's side of the vehicle. 

Both officers reported they were able to see that Ms. Daniel was holding a black 
handgun in her right hand with the barrel of the weapon pointed at Officer Magill. When 
Officer Magill saw the weapon, he yelled "gun" and both officers opened fire at the 
driver in response to what they perceived to be a direct and imminent deadly threat. 
When he first observed the weapon in Ms. Daniel's right hand, Officer Magill thought 
she was going to shoot him and felt he and his partner were in immediate danger of 
being fired upon. 

Between the two of them, officers fired a total of nine rounds at Ms. Daniel, six of 
which struck her causing her to slump to her side. An autopsy later conducted by the 
State Medical Examiner's Office revealed four bullet wounds to the upper torso, one 
above the left knee and another to her right hand. 

After firing their weapons, officers found the driver's side door to be locked and 
they used an ASP police baton to break out the driver's side window. Officers then 
recovered a Ruger model LCP .380 handgun from the lap of the decedent. A later 
inspection of the firearm revealed a fully loaded six (6) round clip with a live round in the 
chamber. Officers also conducted an ATF trace of the weapon and discovered it had 
been stolen approximately two months earlier from a vehicle in the Cedar Rapids area. 
Officers also recovered a tan holster for the weapon in the front pocket of a hooded 
sweatshirt being worn by Ms. Daniel, who was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital where she 
died shortly thereafter of her injuries. 

Officers obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and discovered devices and 
ingredients commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine in the vehicle, including 
a gallon of Coleman fuel, a bottle of drain cleaner, two large HCI generators with tubing, 
seven empty packages of lithium batteries, and a wad of coffee filters which the DCI 
Laboratory later determined to contain methamphetamine. Toxicology tests that were 
conducted as part of the autopsy showed the presence of methamphetamine and 
amphetamine in the decedent's system. As part of the investigation, both officers Magill 
and Phelps voluntarily provided urine specimens that proved negative for the presence 
of drugs or alcohol. 

Section 704.1 of the Iowa Code authorizes any person to use "deadly force" if it 
is reasonable to believe that such force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one's life 
or safety or the life or safety of another, or it is reasonable to believe that such force is 
necessary to resist a like force or threat. 

Having thoroughly reviewed the investigative file in detail, I find that Cedar 
Rapids Police Officers Mitchell Magill and Adrienne Phelps were legally justified in their 
belief that deadly force was necessary to avoid injury or risk to their life or safety and 
that such force was necessary to resist a like force or threat. Officers were legally 
justified in drawing their sidearms when approaching the driver of the vehicle based 
upon her earlier attempts to elude officers and her suspicious furtive movements in the 
front seat of the vehicle. In addition, officers were clearly presented with an immediate 
threat of lethal force when they observed that Desirae Daniel was in possession of a 
firearm which was pointed at Officer Magill and they were justified in responding to that 
threat with lethal force. Based upon the facts and circumstances as described in the 

necessary when officers were confronted with the clear and immediate threat of lethal 

Lihn County Attorney 

Copy to: 

Cedar Rapids Police Department 

DCI, Attention Special Agent Richard Rahn 

Joi Bergman, Linn County Communications Director 

(For immediate release and dissemination to all media outlets)